Anonymous Walls Crumblin’ Down – full disclosure in recovery

The other day, I was so thrilled to see an article about me and my husband in the Bleacher Report (GO SEAHAWKS!!!); I tweeted about my 15 minutes of fame from my anonymous Sober Chrystal account. Until then, I’d been so careful to make sure Sober Chrystal couldn’t be tied to the real me. Shedding my last name increased my chances of remaining anonymous to the public and lifted the weight of reality, just a bit, so I could pursue this social sober outlet via my blog and Twitter. I realize now that if anyone had given half of a shit, they could have easily figured out who I was (as if my half-faced profile pic is the epitome of anonymous). I’ve been a big, fat hypocrite. Is it such a bad thing if my cover’s blown, anyway? I’m about to find out.

No need to be anonymousNEWS FLASH: My sobriety is the best thing about me! So, let’s just be ALL out with it.


One of the biggest challenges going against all of us in sobriety is dealing with the social stigma. Nothing feeds that beast like anonymity. It’s part of my beef with Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and is the reason it’s so damn hard to connect with people in real life who are on a similar path. No matter the intention, anonymity is a concept that is self-defeating.

As alcoholics, we are part of a community that’s riddled in self-doubt. Being anonymous makes it easier to share our stories and to connect with others online, resulting in motivation and hope. But, what if there’s more to the healing than swapping confessions and inspiration from behind those walls? I certainly don’t have this thing “licked”, but I believe that connecting with others in recovery is what sets me free. I’ve had a number of readers tell me that I’ve inspired them to get and/or stay sober. How amazing is that?! It is the highest honor I could imagine and it has given me purpose, drive, and accountability to keep my shit together. My actions are my only true belongings, so if I can do my part to chisel away at this wall of stigma and increase awareness, I’m going to do it. Owning up to who I am is a good start. Done.

There is no halfway.Anonymous is half-assed

I live my life and portray myself as a “go big or go home” kind of gal. There really is no halfway. I don’t halfway get angry at idiot drivers that don’t know how to merge (speed UP, don’t slow down!) and I don’t halfway eat a double double animal style In-N-Out burger. Hell NO! No more hiding behind a social media identity. I’m not just Sober Chrystal. I’m not a half-faced half-ass. This is intense because I know people will judge me. I’m paranoid that if people know I’m in recovery, it may limit any future job opportunities or friendships. I’ve already been dinged by my life insurance underwriters because somewhere along the way I mentioned my self-diagnosed alcoholism and that I’d gotten sober to a doctor. This increased my premium. Yep. Things need to change.

I’ve always been a fan of simplicity. What you see is what you get and if you don’t like it, I suggest you quit looking. I’m on this journey to love and accept myself. Fear of rejection can suck it. I’m not morally corrupt or weak and I’m not ashamed of who I am. I should be just as loud and proud as someone who has beaten heart disease! Do you remember who you were before everyone else started telling you who you should be? Well, I’m getting there. I’m a badass, for one. 7 years of sobriety in a world that still celebrates binge drinking and frequently recites that hideous phrase, “it’s 5 o’clock somewhere”, is not for the faint of heart. It’s for badasses. I’m Chrystal Comley. I’m Sober Chrystal. I’m a sober badass. Hear me roar!


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10 Responses to Anonymous Walls Crumblin’ Down – full disclosure in recovery

  1. It’s freeing isn’t it? Congratulations.

  2. Kristen says:

    I love everything about this post and the bleachers article. Awesome, all of it. Anonymity feels outdated and like it holds us back and feeds stigma. I’m not going to argue its merits or flaws here, but I’m thankful for people like yourself who are openly sober and proud about it. This attitude may reach a crowd of people who otherwise wouldn’t see it at all. You’ve touched me in a big way with this post. Thank you.

  3. Kimm says:

    Your are Amazing. You give me the inspiration/motivation I need to tackle my own battles. I love you!! You have always been my favorite cousin!!! 🙂

    • soberchrystal says:

      Wow, thank you! I’m touched! I always knew I was your favorite cousin, but to be an inspiration to you means the world. You go girl! Lots of love!

  4. Laura Fraley says:

    Woo hoo!! Go Chrystal! Roar proud and loud!!

  5. Rachel Greenhood says:

    Chrystal, you’ve always been a badass, amazingly wonderful person. Never ever hide that. I’m so glad to see that you KNOW you don’t need to hide any of yourself anymore. You’re F-ING awesome!

  6. Julie says:

    I had struggled with this whole thing too but then I realized too….recovery is the greatest things I have ever done and I am not longer ashamed to say – “Hey! Guess what, I am an alcoholic!”. I feel a devotion to get out there and tell people about the shame and guilt of what I experience and let people know how freeing it is to get out there and be OK with exactly who and what I am! I have loved your blog for a long time now. I appreciate all your amazing insights and thoughts. Thank you for always being so open and honest!!! ~~~ Julie

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